Category Archives: cities

New York Employment Datapoint of the Day

From Richard Florida’s Atlantic cover story: Financial positions account for only about 8 percent of the New York area’s jobs, not too far off the national average of 5.5 percent. By contrast, they make up 28 percent of all jobs … Continue reading

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New York City Datapoint of the Day

The Center for an Urban Future has released a startling report on the fate of New York’s middle classes — even as the population of the city continues to grow, its middle class is shrinking, and when it comes to … Continue reading

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Pricing Parking in Chicago

Barbara Kiviat understands, I think, why Chicago sold off its parking meters on the cheap: Chicago hadn’t raised rates on some of its meters in 20 years–there’s a lot of value to be had by the person who doesn’t fear … Continue reading

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Inequality in New York

Ed Glaeser, Matt Resseger, and Kristina Tobio have a new paper out on urban inequality (ungated version here), which declares Manhattan (New York County) to be the most unequal county in the US: While Manhattan is the physical embodiment of … Continue reading

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NYC’s Fiscal Crisis

How did Mike Bloomberg end up changing the rules so that he could run for a third term as mayor? Let’s ask NYC speaker Christine Quinn: “It’s a piece of legislation and a vote and a choice that is a … Continue reading

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The NYC Bailout

New York and other big cities always complain that they provide vastly more in federal tax revenues than they receive back from the government in benefits. But John Gapper makes an excellent point: The U.S. government’s latest plan to buy … Continue reading

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Goolsbee 1-0 Salmon

Back in March 2006, Austan Goolsbee was a little-known Chicago economics professor, and I was an all-but-unknown blogger. In a fit of dudgeon, I took it upon myself to attack an article that Goolsbee wrote in Slate on the subject … Continue reading

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Commuting Datapoint of the Day

Matthew Garrahan reports on the housing bust in Merced, California: Like Stockton and Modesto, Merced is within commuting distance of San Francisco and the Bay Area, which made it appealing to investors. Some numbers from Google Maps: Merced, CA to … Continue reading

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A Fun Train of Thought

I’m heartened by Christopher Conkey’s piece in the WSJ today saying that Amtrak is getting more financial and political support than ever. And about time too! My imagination was also sparked by a stray metonym: One measure of progress will … Continue reading

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The Cost of Commuting: 500GD/M

SAR asks: Is there a simple formula that combines the price of gasoline, the one-way commute in miles, and per-hour wages that will let those in the exurbs (and soon, suburbs) figure out when it’s time to move back to … Continue reading

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City-Dwellers of the World, Unite!

I have an essay in the June issue of Poder magazine, wondering whether city-dwellers "could be the defining political force of the 21st century": More than half the world’s population now lives in a city, and cities provide most the … Continue reading

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Commuter of the Day

Is real-estate executive David S. Mack: Mr. Mack, a Long Island resident who says he typically rides the railroad 5 to 10 times a year, said that if he had to pay, he might change his habits. “Why should I … Continue reading

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Commuting Cost Datapoint of the Day

Amtrak – Amtrak! – is now cheaper than commuting by car: Stroud was looking in Elk Grove., Calif. — about 85 miles away from his job in the San Francisco Bay Area — because homes there are more affordable. But … Continue reading

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City Rankings: The Datapoints

Now that MasterCard’s ranking of the "75 Worldwide Centers of Commerce" has been released, it’s fun to pick out some datapoints. The scores rank from 79.17 (London) down to 26.11 (Caracas). Only two cities (London and New York) manage a … Continue reading

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Cities vs Skyscrapers

Many thanks to Matthew for pointing me to an extremely peculiar 3,000-word Business Week feature on global architecture. If you want proof that the teachings of Jane Jacobs have yet to sink in around much of the rest of the … Continue reading

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Car-Commute Datapoint of the Day

SAR has a provocative back-of-the-envelope calculation today: At $4.00 a gallon, a minimum wage earner driving the average 15,000 miles a year will spend 25% of his/her after-tax income on gasoline. I’m not sure whether this includes things like the … Continue reading

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Green Berlin

Paul Krugman joins me in Berlin: Consider where I am at the moment: in a pleasant, middle-class neighborhood consisting mainly of four- or five-story apartment buildings, with easy access to public transit and plenty of local shopping. It’s the kind … Continue reading

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NYC Bike Datapoint of the Day

Joshua Benson, the bicycle program coordinator for the New York City Department of Transportation, mentions a startling statistic without even seeming to realise how startling it is: As the number of cyclists in New York City has grown (75 percent … Continue reading

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Annals of Port Authority Incompetence, Goldman Sachs Edition

Is there one single aspect of the World Trade Center rebuilding project that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey hasn’t managed to utterly bollocks up? The latest news: New York State, 50% shareholder in PANYNJ, looks like … Continue reading

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Can Cities Transcend National Politics?

On Thursday, I posted a blog entry about why local government was unrepresentative, uncreative, and dominated by national parties whose national policies are largely irrelevant on a local level. The same day (I was in la-la land and oblivious of … Continue reading

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Why Local Government is Unrepresentative and Uncreative

Many thanks to Harvard’s David Schleicher for letting me know about his wonderful new paper, "Why Is There No Partisan Competition in City Council Elections?". This isn’t (only) dry political science, it can also be read as a call for … Continue reading

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The Most Depressing Headline of the Day

Congestion Pricing Plan Is Dead, Assembly Speaker Says I hope Shelly Silver finds it impossible to show his face in his own district from here on in.

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How the Housing Bill Could Help New York City

A significant beneficiary of the housing bill being voted on by the Senate today could end up being New York City – and other areas with relatively low property taxes. A part of the bill is a flat $1,000 property-tax … Continue reading

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Are Suburbs the new Inner Cities?

The Atlantic doesn’t have a subcription firewall any more, but it does impose a pretty substantial delay between sending the magazine out to subscribers and putting it up online. As a result, I can’t (yet) link to Christopher Leinberger’s excellent … Continue reading

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New York’s Congestion Charge: The $8 Proposal

Aaron Naparstek has details of the Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission recommendation with respect to NYC’s congestion charge. It differs from the original Bloomberg proposal in a number of respects, and I have to say I like it: it’s much simpler, … Continue reading

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